When restaurateurs in the U.S. want to serve an authentic Israeli hummusiya, they go to Israeli chef and restaurateur Micha Moskovich.
He travels from Tel Aviv to the U.S., bringing along traditional recipes, ingredients and a concept. He remains onsite for three months, creates an authentic Israeli culinary experience, trains the staff and then returns to Israel, leaving Hummusology in capable American hands.
Here are some of Moskovich’s creations.
Falafel is one of those foods that everybody loves. Traditionally, it is fried in oil, and these days many of us are avoiding deep-fried foods. This version, which is baked, delivers all the flavor with a fraction of the fat.
These can be served on freshly baked pita, topped with hummus, schug (a green hot sauce, recipe follows), pesto, tahini, lettuce, tomato and pickles, but you can adorn these as simply or as elaborately as you like.
Because this is a restaurant recipe, the resulting quantity is large, but it could easily be halved or quartered for a small group.
2.2 pounds chickpeas soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoons salt
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment (or spray lightly with oil). Heat your oven to 360 degrees. Form the mixture into patties, about 3 inches in diameter and 3/4-inch thick. Bake for 20 minutes and serve as desired.
Makes 20 patties
Moskovich’s original recipe for this ubiquitous and oh-so-simple dish used cabbage, but one restaurant has altered the salad and now uses romaine lettuce. The romaine holds the dressing better and therefore delivers more flavor.
This is a “throw it together” type of dish and the amounts used are up to the cook.
Adjust to your tastes, and feel free to add/subtract according to your preferences. The only rule is that the ingredients should be chopped rather finely.
Place all the vegetables in a shallow bowl and toss. Spritz the top of the dish with a thin coating of lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to your taste. Toss well and enjoy.
This all-purpose spicy sauce is my latest addiction. It offers a zesty kick, but it brings more than just heat. The fresh, herbal burst of cilantro and parsley counter the spice of the “pepper water” and the citrus of the lemon, and the result is pretty darn great.
In addition to traditional Israeli dishes, schug is delightful on grilled fish, poultry and meat. It can be swirled into yogurt as quick dip, stirred into tuna salad, or used as a marinade, salad dressing or sandwich spread. I have not tried it on vanilla ice cream yet. Stay tuned.
1 pint olive oil
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup “pepper water” (this is the equivalent of pickle juice for pickled hot peppers)
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Puree all the ingredients in a blender. Store it in your refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Makes about 3 cups. JN
Keri White is a food writer for the Jewish Exponent in Philadelphia, a publication affiliated with the Jewish News.